UNEP Ecolabelling Project

Enabling Developing Countries to Seize Eco-label Opportunities is a project that aims to assist developing countries and those ones with transition economies to delink economic growth and environmental degradation through eco-labelling. The idea of the project has emerged from the strong interest and realization of the need for sustainable development as manifested in the decoupling of economic activity from negative environmental impacts through resource use efficiency.  The Eco-label presents a “Seal of Approval” for environmentally benign products and services. Product groups identified by stakeholders for labeling under this project are textiles (India and South Africa), paper (Brazil), Television (China), and leather footwear (Mexico, Ethiopia and Kenya). Under this program, Kenya and Ethiopia hope to attach an EU flower on the Maasai Leather Sandal (for Kenya) and also a locally manufactured Leather Sandal (for Ethiopia) for purposes of enabling them penetrate the EU market at premium prices.

The project aims at:

  • Promoting positive trade, environment and development linkages
  • Improving the effectiveness of eco - labels as market instruments
  • Improving the access to Regional, European and global markets by environmentally friendly products from developing countries
  • Developing mutual recognition between eco - labeling schemes and increase the co-operation between developed and developing countries

In Kenya, the project is being implemented by The Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre (KNCPC) in collaboration with UNEP, the Leather Development Council (LDC), Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), Ministry of Livestock (MoL), Kenya Leather Tanneries Association, Ministry of Industrialization (MoI), Association of Leather Footwear Manufacturers, Ministry of Trade (MoT), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBs), Ministry of Environment and Mineral resources (MoEMR).


Case study

Cleaner production in a certain company X started in 2005. In its Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) programme, the company specifically focused on water, material and energy efficiency and in some production processes, as well as wastewater reduction. In regard to energy efficiency, the company focused on zoning of the respective user section consumption trends covering all its departments. The entire RECP programme achieved a saving of 11 % per year translating to USD 547, 727.39.

Basic RECP indicator from the case study

Areas of Improvement

As part of the company Environmental Policy, the company has adhered to the Resource Efficiency Cleaner Production (RECP) concept, i.e. creating more products while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution. The concept is geared towards sustainable economic development.

The following critical aspects were considered to achieve (RECP), among others:

  • A reduction in the material intensity of the products manufactured.
  • A reduction in the energy consumption.
  • Improved recycleability.
  • Use of renewal resources where available
  • Greater durability of products.


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